From Monday 29 July 2019, most Sydney public transport users can enjoy the same Opal travel benefits as Opal users when tapping on and off using credit cards or mobile payment wallets such as Google Pay.

The benefits will be available to passengers on Transport for NSW trains, light rail, Sydney Metro and ferry services. The trial will be expanding to Sydney buses in coming months.

The development comes as a partnership between Transport for NSW and Commonwealth Bank, which plays a key role as acquirer and back-end processor for contactless transactions.

All payment cards are compatible – whether issued by CommBank or not – including Visa, Mastercard and AMEX.

The travel benefits now available to contactless passengers include:

  • Daily, weekly and Sunday travel caps in line with Opal caps
  • Weekly travel reward (half price after eight trips)
  • The Opal transfer discount
  • Off-peak pricing for train travel

The move will be a welcome one for Sydney commuters who now will be able to travel without an Opal card and enjoy the same benefits. Unless you need to ride a bus, provided you’ve got Google Pay or Apple Pay set up on a compatible phone, you can travel with nothing more than your phone.

No need for your wallet, no need for a separate card – your phone is all you need, and as a regular commuter, you get the same benefits as someone with an Opal card.

I have an Opal card but often misplace it, as I’m not a regular commuter these days. Being able to travel with a bank card or Google Pay is a blessing for me, and if I were to be a regular commuter, I can now enjoy the same discounts and fare caps as everyone else.

This is a great development and one bound to be welcomed by Transport for NSW customers across Sydney and NSW.

Source: Commonwealth Bank.
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Hmmm. Why not buses? Why does it not use the reward card functionality on Google Pay?

The staggered release will trip people up. Nobody can be expected to follow or know when it’s introduced to buses. So it still gives users a high chance of paying more than they would otherwise with an Opal card.

Phill Edwards

Looking forward to it working on buses.

Raja Islam

This is good news